Finding a Voice
Saturday, December 13, 2008
the little town
She was like a body on her deathbed, the good citizens standing around, caps clutched in anxious hands, worried yet resigned expressions on their faces. If this was going to be the end, let it be as quick and free of pain as possible. Just let her go and find a way to muddle through life without her. Move on perhaps. Or hang around until the last of them also passed on, leaving a ghost town.
But she just wouldn't die.
She lay there, on life support, with occasional government handouts to inject some semblance of vibrancy. Her breathing was measured. She did not move as the seasons changed around her. No commerce, no children's clubs, no community celebrations, just eternal dying.
The residents held their breath.
Then one day, a stranger came to town, asking questions, snooping around. He had some ideas. But the citizens wouldn't dare to hope. Sure enough, the stranger left again and the citizens were relieved. Hoping would have been too painful.
Yet, the stranger returned, this time with a moving truck. And when he did, the color started coming back into her face. The residents couldn't believe it -- almost didn't want to believe it. They had been so sure she would pass on, they had gotten used to the idea, almost to the point that they wanted it to happen.
Now, the stranger called them back from their fatalistic self-defeat. Just let her die already and be done with it! But the stranger refused. He was gentle, yet insistent. Her life was not over. He kissed her, put a ring on her finger, planted his stakes in the ground, and stayed.